2007 WCOOP: Event #6 Final Table report
If PokerStars observer chat had been active, the joke would likely have been oft repeated.
"You're telling me you won $5 million in the World Series of Poker, but you can't afford a decent Internet connection?"
Insetad, the jokes were left to the people actually sitting at the final two tables of WCOOP Event #6, the $320 PLO rebuy event. Player Oswaldo was the first to speak. "Is Raymer now running and on his way to a Internet bar?" he imagined.
In the history of WCOOP, there have been several unfortunate and ill-timed Internet service outages. However, none have happeneed to more public poker figure at such an important time in a tournament.
There sat the one and only Greg "FossilMan" Raymer--with the chip lead, no less--on the bubble of the final table table of Event #6. The remaining two tables were five-handed and Raymer's "disconnect time bank" had run out. He was getting blinded out. At a time when Raymer is most dangerous (for instance, when he has more than twice the chips of anybody at his table), he was rendered powerless. There was a very real possibility the final table would start without him. Despite the fact he was a prized and valued member of Team PokerStars, no special treatment was ever mentioned. He was timed out, blinded off, and left to wither in the virtual poker sun.
And then he came back.
"Whew, bad time to lose internet," appeared in the chat box. [Interview with Greg Raymer]
And that's almost how the final table of WCOOP Event #6 began. Instead, Raymer came back and the players fought their way down to the final nine. At the start of final table play, Raymer still had the chip lead.
Seat 1: FossilMan (1519556 in chips)
Seat 2: Oswaldo (439874 in chips)
Seat 3: PlayaAAK8 (858200 in chips)
Seat 4: Rage Of Fury (597216 in chips)
Seat 5: rutasasha (996630 in chips)
Seat 6: MrSmits (1103257 in chips)
Seat 7: Rsa87 (1233579 in chips)
Seat 8: -db- (981710 in chips)
Seat 9: O.Mustang (491978 in chips)
As play began, the stacks were so deep, few confrontations were necessary or warranted. While chips moved back and forth, the huge swings seen earlier in the event were nowhere to be found. Apart from an early Royal Flush by O.Mustang, there was little in the way of highlights in the early going. Eventually, though, someone had to go.
Oswaldo called a Mr. Smits raise from the small blind, as did PlayaAAK8 in the big blind. On a flop of [6d 3h Jh], Oswaldo bet out 195,000. PlayaAAK8 pushed all-in, enough to get MrSmits out of the way and cover Oswaldo. Oswaldo showed [Td Qc 7c Jd] to PlayaAAK8's [9s 6h Ah Js]. A king of hearts on the river locked it up for PlayaAAK8. Oswaldo left in ninth place, earning $9,274.20.
With one player gone, O.Mustang began to quietly creep up the leaderboard, eventually overtaking the chip lead. As he did so, as you might expect, the other players' stacks began to dwindle to levels at which they were ready to start gambling again.
If there's one frustrating thing about Omaha (and some people would argue there is a lot more than one frustrating thing about the game), it's watching your opponent's re-draw get there in a pot that almost certainly should've beeen chopped. So lived Rage of Fury as he got all his chips in the middle with the same two pair as MrSmits. On the turn, MrSmits made a bigger two pair. The river didn't come in for Rage of Fury, and so ended the raging against the dying of the light. Rage of Fury was out in eighth place, taking home $15,694.80.
The biggest hand of the tournament so far came just a few minutes later when Raymer came in for a raise, rutasasha called, and Rsa87 called. The flop came [3c Ts Js] and Raymer bet out 125,000, rutasha called, and Rsa87 pushed all-in. Raymer made the call to see Rsa87's set of jacks. Raymer held the nut flush draw...which came in on the river. Covered and smoothered, Rsa87 left in seventh place for $23,542.20.
"Just lucky," Raymer admitted.
His luck would not continue for long. Within a couple of hands, Raymer tried to finish off another opponent, to no avail. The chip lead Raymer had taken over departed as he doubled up rutsasha. Soon, though, after O.Mustang lost a rough hand against PlayaAAK8, the stacks started to even out. It was just about anybody's game.
Despite being among the most gambley games in WCOOP, the final table of Event #6 featured deep-enough stacks that players could find folds where they normally might not. It was not uncommon to go for long stretches without seeing a showdown. It was during one of those stretches that Raymer chipped up to the chip lead and -db- started getting perilously close to his exit. After getting exceptionally low, he managed to double though Raymer after rivering a flush against Raymer's overpair. That hand and one that followed against O.Mustang brough Raymer's stack back down with everybody else's.
Raymer, however, was not content to have an average stack. He went back on the attack and slipped into a hand with PlayaAAK8 that proved to be a bit of a cooler. A flop of 678 drew both players into the pot. PlayaAAK8 held 45 for the low end of the straight, but Raymer was holding 9T for the high end. There were no miracles to emerge for PlayaAAK8 and he exited in sixth place for more than $32,000.
Raymer did not remain in the stratosphere for long. After flopping a threes full of eights on a 388 board, Raymer ran into Mr Smits' Q8 on the turn, a queen. A costly pot, it doubled MrSmits up and dropped Raymer down to third in chips. Raymer's only response: "Shoot."
-db- is one player who can boast to have cashed in every year WCOOP to date. His best finish came in 2002 when he won a Limit Omaha/8 event. Event #6 marked his 12th WCOOP cash and his third final table. He was looking to make it his second championship when he flopped a straight against Raymer. All the money went in with Raymer on the nut flush draw. It got there and -db- finished in fifth place for $40,663.80
Four-handed, discussion of a deal broke out, but broke down just as quickly. Back to battle, O.Mustang held onto the chip lead, while Raymer and MrSmits battled for second and rutasasha hung out in fourth place.
It would not last that way for long. O.Mustang stretched his lead out, only to see the entire game go haywire over the course of half an hour. It started when Raymer flopped the second nut flush to rutasasha's two pair. They got it all in and rutasasha ended up out in fourth place. Hardly a few moments later, O.Mustang knocked out Smits after they got it in pre-flop. Smits ended with a set of queens, but O.Mustang rivered a straight.
Heads-up, the atmosphere was tense. O.Mustang had not been complimentary of Raymer's play. Raymer, with a slight chip lead, decided he didn't feel like chopping. So began a short and tense heads-up battle. It ended after the pair saw a flop of 8d5c6c. Raymer check-raised and O.Mustang pushed all-in. Raymer held Jc7d8c5d to O.Mustang's 7cAcQc6s. The turn, 3h, helped neither player. The river, however, was the 7s, giving Raymer the win, his first WCOOP bracelet, and more than $168,000.
Just a couple of hours before, the player known as FossilMan had been cut off from the etheral world of the Internet and blinded off at the table. His return came just in time. Now, the 2005 World Series champion has a WCOOP bracelet to wear on his other wrist.
Here are the final table results.
2007 WCOOP Event #6 Final Table Results
1. FossilMan (United States) $168,362.40
2. O.Mustang (United Kingdom) $97,022.40
3. MrSmits (Denmark) $64,919.40
4. rutasasha (Ukraine) $49,938.00
5. -db- (United States) $40,663.80
6. PlayaAAK8 (United States) $32,103.00
7. Rsa87 (United States) $23,542.20
8. Rage Of Fury (Norway) $15,694.80
9. Oswaldo (Finland) $9,274.20
Full 2007 WCOOP Event #6 Results